The oat mutagenized population

CropTailors owns a world unique mutagenized oat population, derived from the Lantmännen variety Belinda. The population was developed by chemical modification (EMS) of oat seeds. Each seed was planted out and ca 2800 mutagenized lines were raised (CT-lines). Molecular analyses showed that ca 1 million unique point mutations (SNPs) were introduced into each line, i.e ca 3 billion mutations in the whole population (Chawade et al, 2010). This is enough to mutate every single gene in the genome several times. Thus, the variation in the population is very high.

CropTailor has repeatedly proven the great potential of this population by identifying individual CT lines high in seed protein, betaglukan, lipid, avenanthramide, low in seed coat lignin, tolerant to Fusarium etc. (Sikora et al, 2011; Sikora et al, 2013; Vivekanand et al, 2014, Sunilkumar et al, 2017, unpublished data).

The Belinda genome sequence

An access to the entire Belinda sequence facilitates studies on oat gene structure, gene discovery and gene function, promoter analysis and allows for an elucidating of possible roles of micro RNAs in gene regulation.

Access to the Belinda genome greatly simplifies whole genome sequencing of interesting CT lines and opens up for a mapping of all the introduced EMS mutations in the Belinda genome. This, in combination with complementary gene mapping- and expression analysis methods, makes it possible to pin point the specific mutation giving rise to the modified trait in a selected super line.

Recently we sequenced the entire Belinda genome at a 270 times redundancy (all together 20 billion fragments, 2,7 trillion base pairs) by shot gun sequencing and in collaboration with ScanOats a high-quality assembly of the genome was made using NRgenes Magic software. The N50 value is at present 17,7 million base pairs (bp) and the N90 is 2.8 million bp (Plant and Animal Genome Conference, Sam Diego, USA, Jan 2018; unpublished data).

These scaffolds are now in the process of being put together to psudochromosomes in collaboration with IPK at Gatersleben

Oat Pan genome

Using the de novo assembled Belinda genome sequence as a first entry, we are now initiating sequencing of additional oat genomes to be used to in the creation of an oat PAN genome.

Molecular marker development

Once specific mutation that give rise to defined phenotypes have been identified, molecular markers for e.g. high protein and high betaglucan traits will be developed. Such markers would greatly facilitate further breeding of high protein- and high betaglucan traits into Swedish elite commercial varieties. In addition, our access to the entire Belinda genome sequence makes it possible to design constructs to precisely introduce mutations into other elite varieties by CRSPR/Cas gene editing. The first applications of this technology will be to increase betaglucan and protein levels.

Other technology

The Company has developed a number of novel high precision small scale selection procedures based on advanced biochemistry, analytical chemistry and/or molecular biology, enabling a screening of the mutagenized population for oat lines with the desired properties both on the phenotypic- and genotypic levels.